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"I know it was now the right time; it was my calling to start fostering.''

Foster Carer holding hands with a foster child

After 20 years Foster Carer Sarah begins her fostering journey. 


Over the past two decades, Sarah has longed for the perfect opportunity to start fostering. She recalls how her children's father's best friend became a foster carer to a young boy many years ago, and it left a lasting impression on her.

"I was in awe of him and didn't know much about fostering at the time. It looked incredible to be giving so much to a young person, and this set a seed in my mind. Then, throughout the years, I randomly met foster carers with their young people, and it kept planting the seed again in my mind."

Sarah has always felt a strong desire to help those less fortunate and enjoys assisting others. Her volunteering experience with the Samaritans Charity has shown her the importance of providing support and love to young people early on. This support can help break cycles of neglect and low self-esteem, leading to brighter futures for these young individuals.

Family decisions

Sarah's two sons, aged 14 and 21, are now more independent, with one at university and the other beginning his GCSEs. This newfound independence allows Sarah to turn her dreams of becoming a foster carer into reality. As a qualified well-being therapist specialising in massage, skin therapy, and reflexology, Sarah had been used to working from home in her own well-being studio. However, she felt she needed a new focus. "I know it was now the right time; it was my calling to start fostering; that is how I see it, it is meant to be," she shares.

Understanding the importance of her sons' approval in this family decision, Sarah approached her youngest son about her career change. She asked him, "What wouldn't you want me to do?" He responded, "I would always want you to be at home like you are now for me." Excitedly, Sarah told him she had applied for a job, and when she revealed it was to become a foster carer, her son replied, "Wow, mum, that is amazing, like little people in the house."

This enthusiastic response reassured Sarah that fostering was the perfect fit, allowing her to work from home while providing a nurturing environment. "I knew then that fostering would be perfect, as your home is the central point," Sarah shared. This led Sarah to enquire with our local office in Norwich as this was her closest fostering agency and meant Sarah could be nearby for local support. 


Making sure her son's feelings are taken into consideration is key to the family's success at fostering, as fostering involves the whole family. Sarah knew her youngest son had previously interacted with foster children at school and would be happy to welcome a young person into their home. However, her son wished to remain the oldest child in the home.

At Nexus Fostering, we understand the importance of finding the right match between the foster carer, the children already in the home, and the child who will be joining the family. Becoming a foster family is a significant change, and we have a dedicated team at Nexus Fostering to support our foster carers and the children in their homes, ensuring everyone is comfortable.

Sarah shared that "when their first foster child arrives, it will feel like a full circle moment."

What it takes to be a foster carer 

Having a caring nature is essential for empathising with children and young people in foster care, and Sarah has cultivated this through her commitment to supporting the Samaritans Charity. Over the past four years, she has gained invaluable experience, finding it rewarding and noticing a pattern among callers – many had experienced childhood trauma.

Sarah hopes that fostering will break the cycle of children and young people struggling into adulthood, recognising the profound effects of a broken childhood. Through her involvement with Samaritans, including sessions in a local prison, she has encountered individuals who had been in foster care or endured abusive and neglectful childhoods.

By becoming a foster carer, Sarah aims to provide critical support in breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect for many children.

The assessment begins 

The assessment process, also known as a "form f," typically spans 4-6 months for each person applying to become a foster carer. Sarah found her assessment to be a positive experience, expressing, "I loved it; I had a great social worker, and we connected well." She looked forward to her social worker's visits, feeling comfortable opening up about her life. Sarah's openness and emotional nature made the process enjoyable for her, despite its potentially intrusive nature.

Throughout the assessment, Sarah felt increasingly confident that fostering was the right path for her. Immersing herself in the process was crucial, as knowing that fostering was her calling helped her navigate through it with enthusiasm. At Nexus Fostering, social workers understand the significance of discussing personal histories and employ a therapeutic approach to support applicants.

Sarah found the assessment process enjoyable since it focused solely on her and her son, who will play a significant role in the matching process with a foster child. Sarah embraced the fostering journey wholeheartedly, conducting her own research and describing the assessment process as thoroughly enjoyable: "I love it all; there was nothing in the assessment process I didn't like."

The final stage

At the final stage of the assessment process, attending the panel is crucial, as it determines whether you are recommended for fostering. Sarah admitted feeling nervous during this stage but reminded herself that it was essentially a friendly conversation about her life. Despite initial nerves, she ended up having a good experience and felt relieved afterward.

Final nerves are understandable given the time and personal investment in the fostering process. However, at Nexus Fostering, applicants are not alone at the panel stage; they receive guidance and support to ease any last-minute nerves.

Sarah reminisces about the emotional journey and feeling overwhelmed with joy when the panel recommended her for fostering. It was a culmination of her dedication and commitment to fostering.

Support network

Having a strong support network is crucial for approved foster carers. Sarah emphasised the importance of her support system, which includes her mother, son, and ex-husband, with whom she maintains a positive relationship.

Having people to rely on for assistance and emotional support is vital for maintaining positive relationships and successful outcomes with the children in her care. Unexpected events can arise, requiring assistance with school pickups, appointments, or other tasks. Having friends or family members willing to step in and help out when needed ensures that Sarah can provide the best possible care for the children she fosters.


Sarah's journey into fostering is not only a personal fulfilment but also an inspiration to others. Throughout her life, she has embraced challenges, sought rewards, and found fulfilment in helping others. Now, as a foster carer, she can inspire and encourage others to consider opening their homes to young people in need.

When Sarah shared the news with her close friends, their reactions were heartwarming and filled with awe. This positive response can influence others to contemplate fostering, challenging the misconception that it's something only a select few can do.

Sarah's lifelong passion for helping others and her desire to provide a nurturing environment for children reflect her commitment to making a difference in their lives. She aims to offer the same level of care and support to her foster children as she did for her own sons, ensuring they feel safe, loved, and nurtured. Sarah eagerly anticipates welcoming her first foster child into her home, ready to play a pivotal role in helping them achieve their dreams.


Could you provide the role of a foster carer? Get in touch to find out how you can become a foster carer - Contact Us | Nexus Fostering 


Fostering stories


  • Foster Carer
  • Young person
  • Advice
  • Support
  • Birth child(ren)

Date published

29 May 2024

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